Film ID:
YFA 1930



Visitor Tabs


A documentary about the historic city of York, this film highlights many of the famous sites of the city including the York Minster, the Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower. Footage is also included of a Civic Pride Festival.

The film opens with a sign post on the outer limits of the city with the insignia of York's coat of arms painted on it. This is followed by shots of the Minster and Bootham Bar, where people are waking up onto the city walls. There are then more angles of the Minster, including the entrance and a shot of the Rose Window.

More shots of the Minster and its finial decoration follow, and the Gilbertson's shop on Minster Yard can also be seen. There are then views from the city walls and vehicles travelling along Lendal Bridge.

The next sequence shows the exterior of the Castle Museum before going inside and showing actors playing a wealthy Victorian family in period dress enjoying Christmas festivities. A policeman unlocks the door to the debtor's prison, where Dick Turpin is believed to have been imprisoned.

This is followed by a sign that reads "Mansion House - Built 1725-1726 probably from a design by the Earl of Burlington to serve as the residence of the Lord Mayor during his term of office". The film pans down from the roof of the Mansion House to its fa?ade. Inside, a man dressed in his finery shows off the gold chain and Civic Plate as well as various medallions emblazoned with the white rose of Yorkshire. He then takes the ceremonial sword out of its hilt and shows the mace to the camera as well. Next, he holds up the Cap of Maintenance which is inscribed with the words "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" and another slightly dishevelled looking hat.

The Lord Mayor enters in black robes and his attendant places the gold chain around his neck. There are further shots of the silver bowls, tankards and goblets that make up the Civic Plate, before the film skips to some buildings along the River Ouse. It then briefly looks out from inside the Guildhall before heading to St. William's College and St. Anthony's Hall on Peasholme Green.

Title | St. Anthony's Hall - Document Store and Library

Inside the Hall there are books and boxes of documents that were collected by the Borthwick Institute, now housed at the University of York.

Title | Clifford Tower and Bars

Shots of Clifford's Tower and the Bars at Walmgate and Mickelgate.

Title | In Lighter Mood

A funfair takes place and there are rides including Wurlitzers, a superspeedway and a chair-o-plane.

Title | The Arrival and Reception of the Judges

Outside the Mansion House two heralds with bugles announce the arrival of the Judges for the annual Assizes. There are views of the Minster and All Saints Church on the corner of High Ousegate. At Clifford's Tower and St. Anthony's Hall it is winter and snow covers the ground.

Title | Civic Pride - Festival Sunday, 1954

The next portion of the film is a long procession through the city of the aldermen and Lord Mayor, all dressed in fine robes. The final portion of the film focuses on the Mystery Plays, beginning with a sign used to help sell copies of the text used in the production. There is a shot of people walking through the Museum Gardens and later in a stand erected for the production, which took place at St. Mary's Abbey. Behind the stage the performers and actors are waiting for their entrances, dressed in costumes such as soldiers, angels and beasts, and a man is seen making sound effects behind the stage.

Title | This film was presented to the City of York by J. Saville Esq. J.P.

Title | Photography J. Saville Esq. J.P.
K. Jones Esq.
Directed and Edited by K. Jones J.P.
Lighting: M.Yates Esq.
Commentary written and spoken by: The Rev. J.S. Purvis, M.A., D.D., F.S.A., F.R. Hist. S.